If you have been keeping tabs with the marijuana movement over the past couple of years, then you are probably aware of the bizarre battle to legalize hemp, a harmless variety of the cannabis plant that (for lack of a better word) cannot get you “high.” Of course, most of you are probably fully aware that hemp has been regarded as a high-quality industrial product for thousands of years. Recently, though, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell added an amendment regarding the legalization of this little plant in the 2018 Farm Bill, recently approved by Congress. So, now that marijuana’s less potent cousin is back on the radar and fully legal, what does that mean for the pot and agriculture industries? Also, what could this mean for the medical field? Let’s take a closer look and find out.
Hemp Was Illegal, Thanks to Marijuana
Given the fact that it is actually a type of marijuana plant, hemp used to be classified as a Schedule-I drug (along with LSD, heroin, and marijuana) on the official Drug Enforcement Agency’s list of controlled substances. However, since the passing of the Farm Bill, this rule no longer holds firm. However, when the plant was listed as a Schedule-I substance, universities and other facilities were cautious about conducting research on this relatively harmless plant.
You Can’t Get High on Hemp
Oregon Senator Ron Wyden pretty much summed up hemp smoking when he referred to its as a waste of breath and time, for the simple reason that hemp cannot get you high. Although it has low amounts of THC (the cannabinoid that induces a “high”), hemp actually contains particularly rich quantities of CBD, a mind-altering chemical that does more good than harm (in a surprising twist). Despite this herb’s harmless qualities, though, businesses have been forced to import crops from China, Canada, and Europe.
A Rocky Road of Hemp Growth
Despite the fact that this little herb is 100% legal, farmers will still face a rockslide of problems in the long run. Under the 2014 Farm Bill, farmers could only grow this crop for restrictive research purposes. While things look easier, though, the farming community will have a hard time finding a good seed bank and determining what pests and illnesses can affect their precious green cargo.
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